Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday morning farmers market {solsc day 25}

Collard greens
Baby goats for petting
Handmade birdhouses
Blueberry bushes
Essential oil blends
Fresh-brewed coffee
Breakfast burritos
Artisan cheeses
Focaccia bread
Acoustic guitar
Strawberry plants
Local honey
Independent winery
Friendly faces

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tyrus, Tallulah, & Tom {solsc day 24}

I've had a lot of pets in my life, but I've had three that were head & tails above the rest. These sweet beings added comfort, joy, and much laughter and I'll always be grateful.

Tyrus was my beloved pug.   I was in my early 20's and going through a very rough time as a young woman getting a divorce from my starter husband.  I was the girl who "did everything right" and couldn't believe my life had taken me on this path.  I was sad and angry and mortified.  One night I got a call from my brothers. They told me a friend of theirs had pug puppies and all had been sold but the last.  No one wanted him because he was not fawn with the black mask, but rather all black.  I took this baby in a heartbeat.

My Ty arrived as such a tiny little bundle.  He was the most loving hilarious little rascal! His gentle snoring was reassuring.  He was content to just snuggle up in my lap and be with me whether I was reading or watching late-night TV or crying.  He was loyal and precious.  He never met a stranger and I had to watch him on our walks as this guy couldn't resist any chewing gum or cigarette butts he found.  We did have that disastrous Nacho Cheese Doritos incident (who knew he could jump so high while I was at work?) and those pearl earrings were never the same once he swallowed them (um, yeah...they eventually...showed up) but those were small in comparison to the amount of love this little guy gave me. I miss him.

Tallulah was my darling tortoiseshell calico. I was teaching elementary school in McKinney, Texas.  A teacher friend was begged into taking in a pregnant mama cat by her little boy.  "What if you were expecting a baby and were homeless, Mama?" The kittens were born and she found homes for all of them.  All but one.  I will admit that Tallulah had to grow into her true beauty.  She was a little homely looking to tell you the truth.  In a litter of coal black and solid white kitties, she was the ugly duckling of the group.  She was lively and playful and smart as a whip.  She could sense when I had a headache or tummy ache and she would lay on that part of my body to comfort me.  As she grew up she became the most gorgeous cat you've ever seen.  She never once threatened to climb my Christmas tree, she just lay there with her peridot green eyes taking in all the sparkles. My husband bonded with Talu, too.  When our first daughter came along, they bonded, as well. She was a much-loved family member. I miss her.

Tom was my big lover-boy.  He was, clearly. a big Tom. He found us and decided he'd keep us. He wasn't an inside cat, and I knew of his straying ways when I fell for him.  He was the most spectacularly handsome fella.  A lover and a fighter.  If he wasn't done with me petting him, he ran to the back door, covered it with both enormous front paws and used one to bat my hand away from the handle. He was kind and gentle with both my girls---even allowing the little one to pick him up and carry him in a most uncomfortable position. He was nearly as big as she was. We were all captivated by his charm and heartbroken when he left us. My husband is an early-morning runner. He spotted the bobcat in the neighborhood. And then our Tom was gone. I like to think he lived so fully in his time on this earth that it makes up a little for the fact that it was cut short.  I miss him.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

wrong book before bed {solsc day 23}

Even when I'm just flat exhausted it is my habit to read at least 10-15 minutes right before bed.  It is comforting and settling and better for me than more screen time flipping mindlessly through Facebook.  I have to be careful about what I choose, though, or I'll be up far too late living life deep within another world.  I can't listen to music to put me to sleep, either---I find my mind creating entire movies since I'm supplying the background tunes. 

I usually figure that a writing craft book will be awesome in terms of its sheer ability to put you to sleep.  Boy, was I wrong last night!  I ordered Ray Bradbury's Zen and the Art of Writing a month or so ago, but hadn't had a chance to start it yet.  So, off the TBR (to be read) pile and into my hands it went. 

Two chapters in and I'm completely hooked.  The Muse has arrived and she's flitting around throwing ideas willy-nilly in my brain. It took me almost as long to settle down into sleep as the night before the first day of school. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

book club day {solsc day 22}

Each Wednesday my teen book club--named Unbroken Spine by the kids after reading Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore--meets during the first half of MegaLunch. It is always a highlight of my week, and I hope of theirs.

Today we met for our final discussion of Heartless by Marissa Meyer. We have so loved this book.  It was fantastical and gorgeous. Kind of like this cake that magically appeared in time for our group today.  One of my boys mentioned he wanted to make a topsy-turvy cake for the occasion, but I never dreamed it would be such a masterpiece.  For the record, his mama ended up making it and she is a friend and known for baking.  But still.  

One of my girls was so inspired by the book that she made art with her nails, each a miniature canvas. She texted a pic to me via our group Remind over spring break and it just made my day. They were perfection. 

We had a bit of a rough go in the beginning of the year with the book club. It can be hard to find your rhythm with a new group, and the bulk of my club last year were seniors. Each group has its own quirky personality and ways of being.  The group dynamics shift with each additional person added, and with each who leaves.  We've finally begun to really meld as a group now that the year is winding down, but this year I have only one senior, and so I'm hopeful that we can transition into next year with more ease. 

I love all that Future-Ready libraries are and do, but hold dear the power of the written word and the magic of talking about the book with others after you read it.  I want them to experience books without having to annotate, or write an essay, or take a test.  I want them to read for pleasure.  That is a gift that lasts a lifetime.  I want my kids ready for that future, too. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Day 21 {solsc day 21}

Sometimes the most heroic thing we can do is to show up day after day.  In trying to create a solid daily writing habit I committed to this challenge. Write daily through all of March.

I believe in grace & mercy & life sometimes happens in such a way that makes this incredibly difficult--and I won't beat myself or anyone else up for having a different goal.

My goal, however, is to write daily through all of March.  I need this.  It is far too easy to slip into--I'll write tomorrow for me, and we all know how that ends.

So, on this busy day, with so many things I want to say but time pressing in, I'll leave it at this...
Day 21 may not be a beautiful, lyrical, perfectly word-smithed post.
But... Day 21 is done.
I'm still moving forward.


Monday, March 20, 2017

my life by the numbers {solsc day 20}

Inspired by this post over the weekend, I decided to make my own life by the numbers post.  Like my inspiration, this will be a rebel version in which I'll use any numbers I darn well please.  It's been that kind of day, folks.  ;)

2- the number of siblings that share my birthday.  Yes, I'm serious.  My mother is a SUPER Type-A.  (well, she is, but in truth, I was 2 weeks late and they were about 6 weeks early.) My fifth birthday party will always be my most memorable.  I mean, it is really difficult to top twin brothers crashing your party with their birth.

3- my favorite number.  It's the magic number. 3 just feels right for just about everything. I mean, 5, 7, and 11 are also good---but 3?  Three is fabulous.

17 -the number of homes I've lived in over the years.

18- the number of years I've been married to my husband.  Like most couples we have lived through some serious stuff together and have have made it through.  He still makes me laugh each and every day.  Sometimes it is at him and sometimes it is with him, but he does keep me laughing.  That is a quality that is hard to find and one I treasure.

26- the number of years as an educator.  I started off as a kinder teacher--and through life's twists and turns I've now taught every elementary level, plus been an elementary, middle school, and now high school librarian. I loved my time in the regular classroom, but y'all I am living my dream job. Had you told me this even 10 years ago I would have laughed in your face and called you a liar, but here we are.  I fully intend to do this until retirement, good Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

47 -the number of years spent on this earth come April 10th. I'm cool with 47.  It doesn't bother me one bit for people to know my age--I've earned every crow's foot and every laugh line, baby.  This is one year closer to me being on the Today show telling folks my secrets to long life, which is a quirky future goal of mine.  Bet you know how old my brothers are now, too, don'tcha?

180 -the number of degrees between my political views and those of the majority of my friends and family.  It has made for an interesting year. I strive to remain salt & light.  I'm not always successful in this endeavor, but I will say that I seek to understand those with views different from my own rather than to write them off.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

things that make me happy {solsc day 19}

Inspired by this awesome post yesterday I thought I'd make my own list of things that make me happy on this last day of spring break.  Clearly, these will be just a few of my favorite things.

Without listing family members or time with them (because A. we've had a LOT of togetherness this week and we need some spaces in our togetherness right now, and B. because of course, FAMILY, right? ) here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Pugs
  2. Drinking my morning coffee in peaceful solitude
  3. Reading a good book in my cozy chair on a rainy day
  4. Blue Hydrangea
  5. Chips & salsa
  6. Guacamole
  7. Queso (see a pattern here?)
  8. I especially enjoy those last 3 while out with girlfriends catching up every blue moon 
  9. Twinkle lights
  10. Fairy gardens
  11. small town festivals (my town's Blueberry Festival is a fave)
  12. fat kitties that have a muscle-car engine purr
  13. Hot tea with honey 
  14. iced sweet tea with lime (best if it's the good ice)
  15. Irish butter (it is just better)
  16. air conditioning (it gets over 100 here just about every day in the summer & it's sticky humid)
  17. bacon
  18. Cottages with arched doors
  19. porches with haint blue ceilings
  20. fresh strawberries
  21. Napping on freshly washed sheets
  22. Orange chocolates
  23. porch swings
  24. fireflies
  25. getting snail mail
Wow!  I feel better already just thinking about all these lovely things.  How about you?  What are some of your favorites?